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Monday, August 27, 2012

Republicans’ racist campaign impossible to ignore

Talking Points Memo:

Political observers have noted for a while that Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama gutted the work requirement in the 1996 welfare reform law is false. But few in the mainstream media have have gone so far as to accuse Republicans of playing the ‘race card.’

But Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” didn’t hold back in a tirade launched against RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Monday morning, accusing the Romney campaign of using race to defeat Obama. Matthews lit into Priebus, citing both the welfare attacks and Romney’s recent birth certificate joke as evidence that the GOP is “playing that little ethnic card there.”

“I have to call you on this, Mr. Chairman,” Matthews said in an appearance with Priebus on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” as he responded to Republicans’ criticism that Obama is running a very negative campaign. “But they’ve both negative. That cheap shot about ‘I don’t have a problem with my birth certificate’ was awful. It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card.”

Matthews continued, turning the attacks up a notch:

“You can play your games and giggle about it but the fact is your side playing that card. When you start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing and everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card and yeah, if your name’s Romney, yeah you were well born, you went to prep school, yeah, brag about it. This guy has an African name and he’s got to live with it. Look who’s gone further in their life. Who was born on third base? Making fun of the guy’s birth certificate issue when it was never a real issue except for the right wing.”

Of course, Priebus tried to deny all this, but what’s the point? It’s so obviously true. Why do you think the GOP is having trouble scaring up anything other than white faces for the convention cameras or that polling shows that 0% — that’s right, zero percent — of African-American voters plan to vote for Romney.

They’ve taken the GOP’s old southern strategy and amped everything up to eleven, hoping that maybe the white racist vote is enough to put them over the top this one last time. The welfare lies, the birtherism, the attacks on Latinos, the voter ID laws that disenfranchise minority voters — it’s all right there, out in the open. These people shouldn’t be allowed to run a merry-go-round, let alone a nation.

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